Co-Founder of SCD Lifestyle Steve Wright has finally broken down and started his path to intestinal healing. After many years of undiagnosed digestive warfare in his body, these series of weekly posts will take you through his experiences, thoughts, and struggles on the SCD diet. Check back and follow his progress:
Week 12 Summary
In the last week I think I’ve really turned a corner. Not a physical corner but a mental corner. Understanding that I’m not alone, and that I’m not the first person to act this way or have these problems really helps. It’s one of those realizations that should be simple and yet it was extremely hard for me. It is really easy for me to get stuck inside my head and start thinking that my experience is some how blazing a trail. This is a trail that many people have gone down before and so while we are all unique we also not that unique.
Digestively, I think any consequences from Easter’s feast are pretty much gone, most of last week I was averaging a 3 on the Bristol Chart with a couple 2’s and 4’s mixed in. I did start taking digestive enzymes last Monday and have slowly worked up to 1 whole pill after each meal. I’m going to up the dosage to 2 pills each meal this coming week.
Last week I stuck to the basics eating mainly carrots and squash for vegetables with some bananas and meats. Gas and bloating were much higher than normal at the beginning of the week probably due to eating the illegal foods but they returned to normal at the end of the week. Mentally I was pretty much a wreck for the first half of the week, battling all of the symptoms I talked about last week. Something finally clicked in around Wednesday that has really changed my thinking.
I’m not really sure exactly what it was but I think journaling and writing my blog post really helped me see my situation in a different light. For me it always seems that when I write something down and then reflect on it I’m able to see it much clearer. I realize now it is time to stop trying to act “normal” (like the rest of society) when it comes to food. I’m different for good or bad and I need to stop acting like it is a bad thing. If I’m going to stick to this diet and solve my health problems acting like nothing is wrong just to “fit in” around other people is not helping me.
Standing Outside The Fire
Last week was stressful not only because I was dealing with the consequences of eating illegal foods and the mental state that put me in but also because I knew that I was attending a bachelor party on Saturday. Here I was writing about how I have a hard time dealing with being in social situations involving food and alcohol and I was putting myself right back in the line of fire.
After turning my mental corner around the middle of the week I knew I was going to have to make some different decisions to make sure I didn’t suffer a repeat from last week. It started with a renewed promise to myself that I can and would stick to the diet no matter what. I am happy to write that I made it through basically unscathed (yeah I had a hangover).
What was different this time? It started by embracing the situations I was about to put myself into. Many times in the past, I would go into an event like this already feeling sorry for myself, sad that I wouldn’t be able to participate like the old me. This time it was different; I cooked up a large amount of food, and packed a cooler full for the trip making sure to divide out the portions and pack more than I planned to consume. Instead of dodging questions about why I was or wasn’t eating/drinking I came right out and fully explained my situation to anyone who wanted to stick around to listen.
I was the talk of the group of course but it was different this time. I made it very clear that this was my priority and that I wasn’t bending the rules for any reasons. I think this single different mental approach made all the difference. For the first time instead of socially apologizing either by words or body language for my strange diet; I fully embraced it.
I also promised myself that I was only drinking two kinds of drinks. Vodka and soda water and whiskey on the rocks, no shots, no beers and absolutely no drinks that I didn’t witness the bartender make. I turned down shots all night and free beers but my confidence rose each time.
I made a concentrated effort to drink water in between drinks and try to limit my consumption of alcohol in general. I could have done better, but then when you sign up for a 12 hour baseball game/bachelor party drink-a-thon not everything is going to go as planned. I did only eat my prepared foods and stuck to my drinking plan. The actual limiting of total alcohol consumed is where I earned a giant F on the scorecard. Moderation appears to be the last key to the puzzle.
I’m going to stick to a basic diet this week to help my body recover from any alcohol damage that I imparted on it. I am planning on adding butter and I’m going to start taking an anti-fungal this week (Thorne SF722). I’m back into my workout routine which is helping. I’m focusing on keeping the variables low for the next week or so to better understand what the anti-fungal supplement is going to do to me. Doing more research shows that bananas are one of the worst fruits to eat when trying to combat yeast problems so I will be cutting them out. Honey is also out for the time being.
To wrap it up, don’t be fooled by my story, avoiding alcohol is probably a better approach on this diet. While I feel a renewed confidence in my ability to handle my self at the bar, it is a poor position to put myself in while doing the SCD diet. If you have any doubts in your ability to handle it, the best approach is water. If the situation does arise make sure you plan accordingly and bring pre-made foods in a cooler, silverware, and plan for at least one extra meal so you don’t find yourself in a compromising position. Lastly, you’ve made a great choice doing this diet to help yourself, there is no need to apologize to anyone for the special needs we have. If you make a big deal out of any situation so will the social group.